Thanks for this take on the new use of ceramics as part of the composites trend in jet engine design and manufacturing, Louis. It's interesting to see what new materials are being explored to lower the weight and cost of engines. I imagine there will be a lot of trial and error to see what works best as these efforts develop.
This is a subject I have firsthand experience with. I believe if anyone can do it GE can. The company has the resources and the expertise available to accomplish this shift in technology. And it's only a matter of time before these products become main-stream.
I am sure GE will have a lot to learn in this field. However the benefits are always worth the effort in the end. That's why innovation is necessary. Survival is not mandatory in his industry.
@Lou: Good article. Have there been any recent improvements to the fracture toughness of ceramics? I don't doubt that they can handle the heat, but I would be more concerned about the lack of ductility.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.